Wednesday, October 29, 2008

LINQ and Entity Framework Posts for 10/27/2008+

Note: This post is updated daily or more frequently, depending on the availability of new articles.

• Updated 10/29/2008 8:00 AM PDT: Additions

Entity Framework and Entity Data Model (EF/EDM)

Paul Gielens liveblogs Tim Mallalieu’s The Future of the Entity Framework (TL20) PDC 2008 session on 10/28/2008. The Entity Framework Futures video should appear shortly on Channel9.

Danny Simmons used Damien Guard’s T4 templates for LINQ to SQL as inspiration for his Using T4 Templates to generate EF classes post of 10/28/2008. At this point, Danny’s template is an “early draft” and is missing a VB version and some other features. However, it’s a step in the right direction.

Faisal Mohamood’s Foreign Keys in the Conceptual and Object Models post of 10/27/2008 compares the treatment of foreign key values in LINQ to SQL (visible) and EF/EDM (not visible), as well as the trade-offs of both approaches. The topic is controversial, but I’m in favor of making FK values optional in EF/EDM, just as adding the “Set” suffix to entity sets should have been optional (and presumably will be in v2.)  


• Sidar Ok’s Lazy Loading with Linq to SQL POCO post of 10/28/2008 shows you how to implement lazy loading for his earlier Achieving POCO s in Linq to SQL project with the LinFu Dynamic Proxy.

Sebastien Lachance suggests use of the DataContext’s DeleteDatabase() and CreateDatabase() methods to assure that test databases are in the proper state in his Unit Testing, LinqToSql and CreateDatabase post of 10/27/2008.

Ilan Assayag provides links to methods of providing Configurable connection string with Linq to SQL in his 10/27/2008 post.

LINQ to Objects, LINQ to XML, et al.

Charlie Calvert begins coverage of C# 4.0 in his LINQ Farm: Covariance and Contravariance in C# 4.0 post of 10/28/2008.

ADO.NET Data Services (Astoria)

Pablo Castro’s Now you's Windows Azure post of 10/28/2008 describes Azure’s table service for structured storage of entity/attribute/value (EAV) data in row/column (property) containers (partitions). Table service features an Astoria-compatible RESTful external interface, as well as internal ADO.NET connectivity. Azure includes .NET 3.5 SP1 so you can use the current Astoria client to interact with table services.

Pablo and Niranjan Nilakantan will present Windows Azure: Modeling Data for Efficient Access at Scale (ES07 | Wed 10/29 | 1:15 PM-2:30 PM | 403AB):

Learn how to use the highly scalable, available and durable table storage service. This session presents a deep dive with demos into the programming APIs and data models for structured storage.

Brad Calder presented the Windows Azure Storage: Essential Cloud Services (ES04 01:14:50) PDC session on 10/28/2008:

Modern services need available, scalable and durable data in many forms, including both structured and unstructured data. This session presents blob, table and queue storage services and the APIs for manipulating and querying data.

Brad Calder is Director/Architect of Cloud Storage, which is the essential scalable, available and durable storage for Microsoft’s Cloud Platform.

Brad’s session describes Azure’s three basic data abstractions: Blobs, Tables, and Queues. Table-oriented content begins at 00:21:29. ADO.NET Data Services access with LINQ or REST starts at 00:30:00. Queue content begins at 00:40:00.

Matthieu Mezil’s ADO.NET Data Services Hooking POC V4 post of 10/28/2008 improves on Astoria’s rights management approach by moving it from the service to the business logic layer’s entity class. His downloadable proof of concept code is available from CodePlex.

Joe Gregorio, Google’s main man for the Atom Pub Protocol, offers a 15-minute An Introduction to REST video he describes as:

Google Data APIs are based on the Atom Publishing Protocol and both Google Data APIs and AtomPub get many advantages from being RESTful protocols. Often the meaning of REST and the advantages of RESTfulness go unexplained so I put together this short 15 minute video that explains REST and some of the advantages you get with a protocol built in that style.

Steve Maine’s Announcing the WCF REST Starter Kit post of 10/27/2008 describes the REST Starter Kit as follows:

When I talk to customers about the API’s for building REST services we added to WCF in .NET 3.5, most people “get it” at some abstract level but come away really wishing for deeper guidance and samples on how to use the platform to address common problems. To answer some of those questions, we’ve taken about 20 of the top customer questions and put them into the REST Starter Kit download as SDK samples so you can look at code and see how the API’s are used in practice.

ASP.NET Dynamic Data (DD)

Scott Hunter will present ASP.NET Dynamic Data [for MVC] (PC30 | Wed 10/29 | 3:00 PM-4:15 PM | 411):

The next version of ASP.NET MVC contains a new scaffolding feature based on Dynamic Data that provides a rich framework for creating data driven web sites. Learn how to quickly build a Dynamic Data web site using features like model level validation, field and entity templates, and scaffolding.

Mike Ormond’s Lots of new ASP.NET bits post of 10/28/2008 notes that the ASP.NET CodePlex site has the following new items:

    • ASP.NET AJAX 4.0 Preview 3
    • ASP.NET Dynamic Data 4.0 Preview 1
    • ASP.NET MVC Beta Source Code Release

SQL [Server] Data Services (S[S]DS) and Cloud Computing

Jim Nakashima covers the simples way to get a Blob Storage service up and running in his Windows Azure Walkthrough: Simple Blob Storage Sample post of 10/29/2008.

OakLeaf’s Cloud Computing at PDC and Elsewhere: Day 2 (10/28) is the second “daily compendium of PDC keynotes and sessions about Cloud Computing, SQL [Server] Data Services, and related topics.”

• Jim Nakashima’s ASP.Net MVC Projects running on Windows Azure post of 10/28/2008 describes how to tweak an ASP.NET MVC project to run on WinAz and includes a sample application.MSDN’s SQL Data Services Developer Center has updated documentation for SDS (updated from SSDS).

Anthony Carrabino provides an overview of what’s new in SDS in his New version of SQL Data Services part of “Azure” CTP post of 10/28/2008.

Jim Nakashima’s Deploying a Service on Windows Azure post of 10/28/2008 is a detailed, illustrated primer that explains how to deploy as a .NET Service the simple ASP.NET app he demonstrated in his Quick Lap around the Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio article.

Ryan Dunn explains What's new in SQL Data Services for Developers in this Channel9 screencast wherein

Ryan visits Jason Hunter and Jeff Currier, a couple of the lead developers on the SQL Data Services team (formerly called SQL Server Data Services) to find out what the new PDC CTP build of the SDS service brings for developers.

The SSDS Getting Started Forum’s New Features thread discusses the lack of cross-container joins in the new SDS version.

Soumitra Sengupta Microsoft Announces Windows Azure and Azure Services Platform provides a brief synopsis of previous and forthcoming PDC 2008 sessions about SQL Data Services.

Oakleaf’s SQL Data Services (SDS) Update from the S[S]DS Team of 10/27/2008 is a copy of a Soumitra Sengupta’s e-mail sent to all registered SSDS users about the upgrade to SDS coming in “early” and “mid-November.”

OakLeaf’s Cloud Computing at PDC and Elsewhere: Day 1 (10/27) is the first of “a daily compendium of PDC keynotes and sessions about Cloud Computing, SQL Server Data Services, and related topics.”

SQL Server Compact (SSCE) 3.5 and Sync Services

Lev Novik’s Microsoft Sync Framework Advances in v2 PDC 2008 presentation of 10/28/2008 “shows you how the next version of the Microsoft Sync Framework makes it easier to synchronize distributed copies of data across desktops, devices, services, or anywhere else they may be stored.”

Liam Cavanaugh’s Annoucing Sync Framework v2 CTP1 post of 10/28/2008 describes the first glimpse of Sync Services v2, which adds the following new features:

    • Simple Providers
    • Change Unit Filtering
    • Filter negotiation

Liam Cavanaugh explains sync-related SQL Services from the SQL Services Labs incubator in his Introducing SQL Services Labs post of 10/27/2008.

Miscellaneous (WPF, WCF, MVC, Silverlight, etc.)

• Jim Nakashima’s ASP.Net MVC Projects running on Windows Azure post of 10/28/2008 describes how to tweak an ASP.NET MVC project to run on WinAz and includes a sample application. (Repeated from SDS and Cloud Computing.)

Rob Conery is finally getting closer to release of his venerable MVC sample project, as noted in his MVC Storefront Preview 1 Available post of 10/28/2008.

Mike Ormond’s Lots of new ASP.NET bits post of 10/28/2008 notes that the ASP.NET CodePlex site has the following new items:

    • ASP.NET AJAX 4.0 Preview 3
    • ASP.NET Dynamic Data 4.0 Preview 1
    • ASP.NET MVC Beta Source Code Release

(Repeated from the Dynamic Data topic.)

John Papa waxes enthusiastic in his Silverlight 2 - What a Ride! post of 10/27/2008 about Silverlight 2 adoption for O’Reilly’s InsideRIA blog. But the Flash proponents claim Silverlight 2 hasn’t achieved significant usage. I agree with John; until Silverlight 1.0 reared its head, Adobe and Macromedia were resting on their laurels. Flash (and Flex) need competition.

Tim Heuer’s Silverlight Toolkit Released – More controls! post of 10/28/2008 describes the new Silverlight Toolkit that RTW’d on the same date.

Shawn Wildermuth’s

Mike Snow explains that there is now a released version of the Silverlight Tools for Visual Studio 2008 SP1 in Silverlight Tools RTW Released! of 10/28/2008.

Rob Conery’s SubSonic MVC Addin Updated for Beta 1 post of 10/27/2008 announces an updated version of the MVC Add in for his flagship object/relational modeling tool, SubSonic.